Meet the Tamerlane team: Tina Bunger, Customer Success Manager
In this series, we invite you to get to know the Tamerlane Trading team. Today, we introduce Tina Bunger, Customer Success Manager.
By Rae Lland
There must have been a day in Tina Bunger’s early life when someone said to her, “Tina, you can’t have it all,” and Tina laughed and said “watch me.”
Mother to two daughters, a step daughter, two dogs (one of which is a foster), one cat, and full time cannabis professional, Bunger is relatable to so many in her role as a working mother who balances home life with a fast paced career. Even COVID-19 -- with the addition of at-home virtual classes for her two daughters -- hasn’t slowed her down. Bunger manages her day with the precision and steadfastness that only mothers seem to possess.
TREATING CLIENTS LIKE FAMILY
Bunger is Tamerlane Trading’s Customer Success Manager. In her day to day, she is the one handling the logistics, paperwork, communications between suppliers, buyers and transit companies. She maintains inventory, updates orders and if a problem ever arises, Bunger is right there to fix it, making sure everyone gets what they need. In short, Bunger is the woman keeping the wheels greased and turning, and she loves it.
“I like to solve problems, I'm a people pleaser,” Bunger says. “So, knowing that I'm solving people's problems or getting them our product when they want it, is actually fulfilling to me in like a strange way. When I know somebody needs product on a certain day, I do whatever I can to get it there.”
Bunger brings that spirit to all her interactions with Tamerlane clients, who she sees as part of the team’s family. For her, the relationships she builds with clients is the best part of the job.
“The relationships that I make with our clients... I learn about them personally. So it's not always just business. I mean, I know when they are having babies or getting married, and it's exciting,” says Bunger.
Based in Tacoma, Washington, Bunger started with Tamerlane Trading in September 2018. Before she came on board she worked at a local cannabis farm as a harvester, and then moved up into an inventory position when she identified a need for the role; essentially creating the title herself because when Bunger sees a problem, she fixes it. After two years at the farm, they decided to close their doors. In the process of selling off their remaining inventory, Bunger met the Tamerlane team, and the rest was history.
A DAY IN THE LIFE
When I asked Bunger what a typical morning looks like for her, she recounted a day full of balancing work and home responsibilities, and while anyone can see that it is a lot to manage, it was clear that Bunger’s dedication to both is her key to success. She starts her day like most of us -- checking the day’s emails from bed, then getting up bright and early to feed the cat that’s been howling for food since 5AM.
Next, it’s time to get her kids set up with their first virtual class of the day. This dance continues throughout the day, with alarms on her phone reminding her when it’s time to get the kids set up in another class or tackle another task. All in all, Bunger says she has 38 alarms on her phone helping her stay on course each day, in addition to loads of lists. As part of this busy schedule, she’s in her office, working with Tamerlane clients and coworkers.
When I asked Bunger what she likes to do for herself, as a sort of self-care routine, she exhaled thoughtfully and then laughed.
“Sometimes I like to just take a hot bubble bath and lock all the doors -- otherwise the whole family would be in there with me! Lock all the doors and take a bath, or go browse Target,” she says, proving once again that she is nothing if not deeply relatable. “If I can go and just browse Target by myself or browse a craft store by myself… yeah… that's good for me. That makes me feel calm and I enjoy that.”
As for what she might be listening to while soaking any stress away, Bunger told me her absolute favorite genre is 90s R&B, but she also enjoys some other notable throwbacks. “I went through an emo, punk phase in my teenage years, so The Used is still my all time favorite band, and when I was a young child NSYNC was my favorite, so I still love them.”
In her down time, Bunger enjoys crafting wreaths and signs for others, and in addition to family beach trips and bike rides, she likes to go hiking with her fiance, kids and dogs. She says they use an app to choose their hiking adventures, picking what they’d like to see that day. A waterfall? A lake? A mountain? The choices are made spontaneously.
CHASING HER DREAMS
Bunger’s commitment to others started early, with her mother, who has been disabled her whole life. “I grew up taking care of her a lot. She had a kidney transplant when I was in fourth grade, so I was eight or nine. That was when I decided that I wanted to be a nurse. She’d had the transplant and we were staying [at the hospital], and she had like this huge incision in her stomach and [the nurses] let me pack it, which I thought, I don't know -- I felt that was the coolest thing in the entire world.”
This caretaker drive continued when her best friend in school was diagnosed with aplastic anemia. She would accompany her to her medical appointments for blood transfusions and other procedures, and offer to help the nurses wherever and however she could. Incredibly, in addition to all her other responsibilities, Bunger is now in school to be a nurse, working to fulfill her lifelong dream.
“I just graduated with my associates of science and pre-nursing, so the nursing program is next. I anticipate beginning that in the fall of 2021. I like to take care of people and it makes me -- it makes my ‘love light shine’ as my seven year old says. So, it's just what I'm meant to do.”
Bunger praises the supportive team environment at Tamerlane Trading, saying everyone has been, “totally in my corner, pushing me to do this, supportive and [saying] ‘this is what you want to do, we’re gonna do whatever we can to help you get there.’”
For now, whether taking care of her mom, organizing her kid’s day, or treating Tamerlane Trading clients like family and friends, Bunger will continue to turn problems into solutions in her home and professional life, using her drive as a caretaker to make the life of those around her better every day.
Rae Lland is a writer, journalist and editor with a focus on culture, music, health and wellness. In addition to her extensive catalogue of work for Leafly, she has also been featured in numerous online cannabis publications as well as print editions of Cannabis Now Magazine. Follow her on Instagram @rae.lland